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Nigeria seeks $500m loan from World Bank for rural roads



The Federal Government has requested a $500 million loan from the World Bank for the development of rural roads and agricultural marketing.

This fund is expected to address the problem of connectivity in rural Nigeria, where 92 million people currently lack access to good roads, according to a final draft of the Resettlement Policy Framework for the Nigeria Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project Scale-Up (RAAMP-SU) released by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“Nigeria’s road network is relatively extensive, encompassing approximately 194,000 kilometres of roads. This includes 34,000 kilometres of federal roads, 30,000 kilometres of state roads, and 130,000 kilometres of registered rural roads. The road density equates to about 0.21 kilometres of roads per square kilometre.

“Despite this relatively high road density, the rural accessibility index for Nigeria (defined as the proportion of the rural population residing within 2 kilometres of an all-weather road) stands at a mere 25.5 per cent, resulting in approximately 92 million rural inhabitants lacking connectivity.

READ ALSO: FG gets $500m World Bank loan for power distribution

“Rural access is particularly restricted in areas densely populated by the economically disadvantaged. These factors underscore the imperative to expand and enhance the rural road network, as well as conserve rural road and transport assets” the policy document noted.

The total cost of the RAAMP-SU project is estimated at $600 million with the World Bank expected to provide 83.33% of the required funding.

The commitment is 79% higher than the initial World Bank commitment of $280 million for the parent project.

The project will finance three key components, which are Improvement of Resilient Rural Access ($387 million), Climate Resilient Asset Management ($158 million), and Institutional Strengthening and Project Management ($55 million).

By: Babajide Okeowo

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